SK Telecom invests $100 million in Joby Aviation

SK Telecom, the leading mobile operator in Korea and an emerging AI company, has made a significant investment of $100 million to acquire approximately 2 percent stake in Joby Aviation, a California-based company focused on developing electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.
SK Telecom to expand LTE speedThis investment solidifies the partnership between SKT and Joby Aviation, which began with a strategic collaboration agreement in February 2022. The collaboration aims to advance the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) business, positioning SKT as a prominent player in the UAM industry in Korea.

Joby Aviation is renowned for its exceptional technological capabilities in eVTOL aircraft development for UAM. Its prototype holds the record for the fastest flight of any eVTOL aircraft to date, covering a distance of 241 km at a speed of 330 km/h.

Additionally, Joby Aviation was the first eVTOL company to establish a G-1 (stage 4) certification basis with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The company is actively engaged in collaborations with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and has secured a contract with the United States Air Force for the deployment and operation of its aircraft.

SK Telecom’s investment will enable Joby to participate alongside SK Telecom in Korea’s K-UAM Grand Challenge, an initiative led by the Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport to foster the adoption of aerial ridesharing in Korea.

In Korea, under the leadership of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport, the K-UAM Grand Challenge will be implemented in two phases. The first phase will take place in Goheung, Jeollanam-do, from August 2023 to December 2024, followed by the second phase in the Seoul Metropolitan Area from July 2024 to June 2025. The ultimate goal is to commercialize UAM in 2025, bringing advanced aerial mobility solutions to the public.